Kiwi flight drink company gains over 60 North American retail stores including
Amazon.com in just 6 weeks;
The first 1Above kiosk opened in Auckland Airport four-and-a-half years ago. Since then, the category-redefining Kiwi
flight drink company has expanded rapidly across New Zealand and Australia. Since then, 1Above has broken into the US
with retail stores carrying their product in Minneapolis and Newark, with more to be added soon.
Back in March, they announced the signing of their first global ambassador, golfing sensation Lydia Ko. At the same
time, they signalled their plans to move into the game-changing North American market.
Just six weeks later, the launch is on track, with 1Above established in the US gaining recognition from international
agencies and investors.
“Our vision is to establish, develop and lead the flight wellness category globally,” says 1Above Chief Executive
Stephen Smith. “There were 3.3 billion air passengers in 2014, with a growth of 4% per annum predicted through to 2034.1
LS Travel, the world’s largest travel retailer, estimates the global travel retail food and beverage market at US$16
billion.2 We’ve identified incredible opportunity in North America and beyond.”
1Above’s strategy is to concentrate on multi-store airport retailers, along with specialty retailers including pharmacy
and nutrition outlets.
With entering the US market, 1Above took it upon themselves to partner with ACNielsen and conduct extensive research
with over 2,000 US consumers to view the impact of travel and their travel habits. Some of the key outcomes from the
research says the longer we fly, the less we drink, and that a staggering 80% take one day or more to recover.
The next step’s for 1Above are to continue expanding throughout the US with OTG, and is in early discussions with other
key retail partners who have upwards of 400 stores available to them in their networks. The company is currently
experiencing up to 124% year on year growth, and expects the momentum to accelerate through this phase of their
The 1Above guide to a successful international product launch
1. “Deploy a thoroughly researched and tested market entry strategy. “The 1Above team utilised learnings from our
Australasian launches to redefine and develop 1Above’s entry strategy into the American market. It is important to
include localized insights to ensure you are considering your new consumer.”
2. Know your retailers KPI’s and convince them you have a product they’ll profit from. “Our push into North America
depended on first securing stockist agreements with a multi-store airport retailers. It’s unbelievably competitive, so
you have to prove the potential demand for your product and demonstrate the revenue & margin opportunities for all parties not just yourself. You also have to be prepared for negotiations that can take
months, or even up to a year or more”
3. Invest in a comprehensive, responsive marketing campaign to drive rapid initial uptake of the product. “1Above’s
launch period is being supported by a heavy POS investment, an extensive in-store sampling programme, PR, and a they are
also planning a targeted digital campaign that includes geo-tagging at distribution points with Twitter, and local
content via Facebook.”
4. Be prepared for it to be slower to execute your plan “Be aggressive with your modeling but be prepared to be patient
as launches in these big markets can take longer that you want or need them to go. This means that you will need to be
patient as customers roll you out but be present in the markets to support the plans and to show your passion. You are
one of thousands of SKU’s they carry, so you need to keep a close eye on the action.”